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Full text of "Flora Indica Vol-I"

INTRODUCTORY  ESSAY.
that of Bengal, and on the wooded hills we find a flora closely
resembling that of Assam. In the moister forest, Anonacea
are extremely numerous, and species of Calamus^ tree-fern,
and Pandanus are equally so. Oaks occur in the forests
down to the level of the river Surma, with Camellia, Kadsura,
Sabia, Rubw, and other plants usually considered as indicating
a certain degree of elevation.
The low hills which rise out of the plain in the neighbour-
hood of Silhet, and in several other parts of the district, are
covered with brushwood, amongst which are many remark-
able plants, as Licuala peltata, Adelia castanocarpa frophi&y
Connarus, Grewia, Briedelia, Gelonium, Moacnrry, Mmsanda,
Guettarda. There are also some shrubs which here find their
northern limit, but which are common in similar localities in
Chittagong: as instances, we may mention Dalhousiea and
Linostoma* In the grassy sward which covers the swampy
plains interspersed among these hills, we find also Stylidium
Kunthil- a minute annual, which is interesting as the most
northerly species of the eminently Australian order to which
it belongs.
Many plants from this district were communicated to Rox-
burgh by Mr. Smith, Judge of Silhet, Mr. Dick, and other
residents, and by the Garden collectors,- and are published in
his 'Mora Indica/ Dr. Wal'ich's collectors were long at
Silhet, and sent him large collections; and the authors of the
present work, in the autumn of 1850, ascended the Surma
from Silhet to Silchar, and collected several hundred species.
The Jheels of Eastern Bengal are in many respects a most
remarkable feature, and as they owe their origin chiefly to the
excessive rain-fall of the Khasia and Silhet, and to the over-
flow of the Surma, we have noticed them under this pro-
vince, in preference to Bengal, in which they would otherwise
have been included.
The Jheels occupy an immense area, fully 200 miles in
diameter, from north-east to south-west, which is almost en-
tirely under water throughout the rainy reason, and only par-